Leander Public Library Director Priscilla Donovan will serve her last day Nov. 1, after serving as library director since 2007.
Donovan declined to comment upon her departure from her long-standing position until she speaks with her attorney.
On her Facebook page, Leander Council member Christine Sederquist said, “I’m so sad for what our city has become and so sad to see Ms. Donovan pushed out.”
The Leander Public Library has been in the local and national spotlight in the last few months after a Drag Queen Storytime event was cancelled in May. Leander’s Open Cathedral Church then rented a space at the library to host a Family Pride Festival and Storytime. The event attracted hundreds of supporters as well as protesters, gained national attention and ultimately led to the intervention of the Leander City Council.
By August, the Leander City Council voted to end room rentals at the library as well as require background checks for outside event presenters that were involved with programming geared for audiences aged 17 and younger.
At that meeting, Leander Mayor Troy Hill said he wanted to see a future Council agenda item to bring the library back directly under the city’s control that would be run by city employees. The city currently contracts a third-party company to run the library --- Library Systems & Services.
“It was insubordination on their part … Everybody needs to ask themselves, ‘If you had a boss and you went around and didn’t tell them and you created a firestorm --- regardless of whether it’s good, bad or indifferent --- would your boss have a right to fire you?’ I think most bosses would,” Hill said. “The library staff 100 percent brought this on our city. I feel bad for our Parks Director … There was a clear procedure, and they didn’t follow it. I hope they will (be held accountable.”
The latest Pride-related event, a Pride Storytime event, held on Oct. 12, did not yield the same national spotlight or attention as the event earlier this year.
According to a statement released by Library Systems & Services, long-time LS&S employee and seasoned Library Director, Denise Galarraga, will serve as the Interim Library Director at the Leander Public Library during the recruitment process to find a new Library Director.
"Our focus continues to be on providing the best library service for the Leander community," the statement said.